(Effective Fall 2013)

The American Bar Association-approved Bachelor of Science in Legal Assistant/Paralegal Studies is a two-plus-two major that will allow students with an associate degree in paralegal/legal assistant/legal studies to continue study toward the baccalaureate degree. Inasmuch as the paralegal field continues to be listed as one of the fastest growing professions and inasmuch as the American Bar Association has recognized the benefit of four-year paralegal programs, this major provides students with marketable skills for employment in the paralegal or other law-related professions. The degree opens the door for opportunities in law office management, government, court administration, arbitration/mediation, financial institutions, the medical field, the insurance and real estate industry, etc. Practicing paralegals have the opportunity to pursue continuing legal education. In addition, the degree allows graduates to seek admission to law school. Paralegals operate under the supervision of a licensed attorney and are prohibited from practicing law.

Career Opportunities

Positions in law firms, court systems and offices, government agencies, corporate and business legal departments, insurance companies, financial institutions, real estate companies, health care facilities, community service agencies, and consumer organizations.

Remediation Strategies

All students entering the major are tested for English, mathematics and reading deficiencies. Students are expected to remediate any deficiencies during their first semester.

Transfer Procedures

All students entering the Legal Assistant/Paralegal Studies bachelor-degree major will be considered for junior-level status as they will have earned the first two years in their respective associate-degree major from an accredited institution. This applies to Pennsylvania College of Technology associate-degree graduates as well. Due to the two-plus-two nature of this major, recommended high school subjects are not applicable. It is expected that students will carry a minimum of 60 associate-degree credits from an accredited institution into the bachelor's degree. Students who have not met the bachelor-degree requirements for the first four semesters will be required to complete these courses. Students who have not met the legal assistant associate-degree core requirement will be required to complete these courses before scheduling advanced legal assistant courses. (See note concerning curriculum outline.) Credits above the 60-credit minimum that were not required for the associate's degree and which meet the requirements for the third and fourth years of the major will be evaluated for transfer on a course-by-course basis. NOTE: Pre-program area relates to the College bachelor-degree requirements. In addition, students will be expected to have completed the following legal assistant associate degree core requirements: Introduction to Paralegal Studies, Legal Research and Writing, Civil Practice and Procedures, and Real Property Law. Existing articulation agreements governing transfers into the baccalaureate degree major (BLA) will be applied.

Program Goals

A graduate of this major should be able to:
  • apply information literacy to personal, professional and other related areas.
  • develop the skills and awareness necessary for lifelong learning.
  • develop the skills needed for critical thinking, analysis, problem solving, and decision making.
  • develop the human relations skills needed to succeed in the legal environment.
  • be aware of and adapt to diverse/alternative cultures, processes, and ideas.
  • demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills.
  • demonstrate practical skills necessary to assist with the administration of a law office, including the handling of accounting and billing procedures.
  • identify and appropriately evaluate legal ethical issues, including conflicts of interest, client confidentiality, and unauthorized practice of law.
  • contribute to the professional growth of legal assistants.
  • develop the ability to plan, organize, direct, and control within a legal environment.
  • increase individual knowledge and understanding of self and others in the work environment.
  • utilize legal sources to conduct effective research.

Curriculum

LAS100 Introduction to Paralegal Studies 3  
LAS125 Legal Ethics 3  
ENL111 English Composition I 3  
MTH151 Structures of Mathematics 3  
FIT Fitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1  
TOTAL CREDITS 13
LAS150 Legal Research and Writing 3  
LAS160 Civil Practice and Procedures 3  
LAS170 Real Property Law 3  
ENL121 English Composition II 3  
CSC124 Information, Technology, and Society 3  
TOTAL CREDITS 15
PLA Previous Legal Assistant/Paralegal Courses 6  
LAS360 Advanced Legal Research, Writing, and Analysis 3  Writing Enriched Requirement
SPC101 Fundamentals of Speech 3  
SCI Science Elective 3  
TOTAL CREDITS 15
PLA Previous Legal Assistant/Paralegal Courses 10  
HUM Humanities Elective 3  
or
SSE Social Science Elective 3  
or
ART Art Elective 3  
or
FOR Foreign Language Elective 3  
or
AAE Applied Arts Elective 3  
or
IFE International Field Experience Elective 3  
OEA Open Elective / Associate 4  
TOTAL CREDITS 17
LAS300 Interviewing, Counseling, Negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution 3  
LAS260 Bankruptcy 3  
or
LAS270 Administrative Law 3  
or
LAS310 Risk Management and Insurance 3  
MTH153 Topics in Mathematics 3  
SCI101 Introduction to Forensic Science 3  Science, Technology and Society Requirement
SCI102 Introduction to Forensic Science Laboratory 1  
SBL Directed Business Elective 3  
FIT Fitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 1  
TOTAL CREDITS 17
BLA Directed Legal Assistant Elective 3  
BLA Directed Legal Assistant Elective 3  
ART Art Elective 3  
SPC301 Organizational Communication 3  Cultural Diversity Requirement
or
SPC302 Intercultural Communication 3  Cultural Diversity Requirement
SSE Social Science Elective 3  
TOTAL CREDITS 15
LAS400 Constitutional Law 3  Cultural Diversity Requirement
BLH Directed Legal Assistant Elective 300 Level or Higher 3  
ACC331 Income Taxation of Individuals 3  
or
FIN150 Principles of Banking 3  
BLB Directed Legal Assistant Business Elective 300 Level or Higher 3  
HUM Humanities Elective 3  
OEA Open Elective / Associate 3  
TOTAL CREDITS 18
LAS495 Senior Project: Legal Assistant Studies 3  
BLH Directed Legal Assistant Elective 300 Level or Higher 3  
SBL Directed Business Elective 3  
HUM Humanities Elective 3  
or
SSE Social Science Elective 3  
or
ART Art Elective 3  
or
FOR Foreign Language Elective 3  
or
AAE Applied Arts Elective 3  
or
IFE International Field Experience Elective 3  
OEA Open Elective / Associate 3  
TOTAL CREDITS 15

Directed Business Electives are any ACC, CSC or FIN course along with HRM 300, MGT 110, MGT 115, MGT 216, MGT 249, MGT 344, and MKT 240.

A maximum of 24 legal specialty credits may be applied toward the baccalaureate degree (BLA) through credit by examination or credit for work/life experience.

Additional Information

Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).